Celebrating Mbira Month

Mbira Month is a 30-day, global celebration of a Zimbabwean traditional musical instrument called the mbira. Mbira Month provides an international platform for celebrating and sharing traditional spiritual aspects of Zimbabwean Shona culture with all humanity. As both a musical instrument and a type of classical music, mbira is a “telephone to the spirits” associated with centuries-old cultural practices and religious beliefs. It is a vehicle for communicating deep human spirituality, both inside modern Zimbabwe and around the contemporary world.  The Center for World Music celebrates Mbira Month by sponsoring and coordinating a series of events in San Diego and in Japan—lessons, meditations, public concerts, informal presentations, and an informal get-together for mbira players in Southern California. See events here.

—Lewis Peterman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Music and Dance, San Diego State University

Cosmas Magaya

Internationally renowned Zimbabwean mbira player Cosmas Magaya is in California for a Santa Cruz/Bay Area residency, which includes stops at Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, and California State University, Monterey Bay.

He realized [the mbira] represented more than an instrument to him: The mbira meant family and spirituality. His parents regularly invited mbira players to participate in religious ceremonies, as it’s commonly used in weddings, funerals and healing rituals among the Shona people.


Zimbabwe Day

Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito Newsletter, May 2013

The Griset Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, CA, had a special celebration of “Zimbabwe Day” on April 18, 2013.  The event was supported by a generous grant from the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation and help from the Center for World Music.

The children were able to experience music from a different country, while learning about other cultures, having fun, and meeting new friends. . . . The children learned a song and several were able to play for visiting guests including Papa Masuka and his son Vitalis who were born in Zimbabwe.